Commercial Dispute Resolution

Commercial Dispute Resolution

Resolving commercial disputes is a core strength of Klein Solicitors and at the heart of our practice.  Our highly qualified lawyers understand the disruption and uncertainty which unresolved disputes can cause to businesses, their management, and their external relationships.  We can help to avoid or at least minimize that disruption, to manage the dispute resolution process efficiently and cost effectively, and to obtain fast, fair and favourable results for our clients - through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution where possible but in court and through arbitration where necessary.

Our success is no accident: our lawyers have won outstanding results in proceedings not only in the UK and throughout Europe but beyond in many jurisdictions world-wide through their unparalleled legal expertise, procedural experience, analytical rigour, strategic vision, attention to detail, client communication, and cross-cultural awareness.

Most of our dispute resolution work concerns complex, high-value cross-border and multi-jurisdictional disputes for our discerning UK and international client base.  Where appropriate, we act as lead or co-ordinating counsel in co-operation with an extensive international network of trusted legal and other professional advisers.

We cover a wide range of industry sectors and areas of law and our lawyers have an established track record of successfully resolving disputes in the following areas in particular:

  • Art & Cultural Heritage
  • Corporate, Joint Ventures, Shareholder Disputes
  • IT & Telecommunications
  • Automotive
  • Construction & Engineering Projects
  • Intellectual Property
  • Aviation & Defence
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Manufacturing, Retail &Distribution
  • Chemical & Pharmaceutical
  • Food & Beverages
  • Media, Entertainment &             Sport
  • Civil Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Transport
  • Commercial & Retail Property
  • International Trade & Commodities
  • Travel & Leisure

At the outset of each case, we will thoroughly review and explain to you the merits of each claim, conduct an overall cost/benefit analysis, advise you on your legal, jurisdictional and procedural options, and identify the most appropriate way of resolving the dispute, based on an in-depth understanding of your business and of your commercial objectives, and having regard to all of the surrounding circumstances.  Importantly, we will keep the prospects of success of any proceedings under constant review.

Risk Management and Reduction

Disputes can often be avoided and issues managed before they turn into problems if commercial projects follow approved internal procedures, contracts are tailored to each individual transaction where practicable, conscious contractual choices are made in relation to the applicable law and contractual remedies, and the most appropriate dispute resolution procedure is chosen.  By contrast, if you use General Terms and Conditions, are they validly incorporated into contracts?  In international transactions, are your retention of title clauses valid under the relevant local law?  Training of commercial personnel and contract managers is as important as proper document keeping and record management in avoiding disputes.  Due diligence enquiries into potential partners should precede major transactions and active credit management can prevent unwanted financial exposure.

We assist and advise clients in these areas and work closely in conjunction with your organisation when recommending and putting the appropriate measures in place.  Controlled and agreed legal expenditure at the outset of your commercial activities, or as part of a periodic review, can thus prevent major financial exposure in the long term.

Litigation

The way in which litigation is conducted in the English courts has been affected substantially by the introduction of the new Civil Procedure Rules in 1998, which were in turn a product of the Government’s ‘Access to Justice’ reforms.  Proceedings are now more streamlined, cases are managed by the courts, and hearings can be arranged at surprisingly short notice.  The quality and reputation of the English judiciary, the convenience of its location, English language, liberal legal professions, and the availability of effective remedies and wide-ranging injunctive relief, mean that London rightfully remains a favoured venue for resolving international commercial disputes.

We are intimately familiar with the Civil Procedure Rules and will use the process to your advantage wherever possible.  Cutting-edge litigation technology helps us to manage complex issues such as electronic disclosure and trial presentation of evidence.  We will ensure that you understand the procedural steps, the timeframe, and the likely costs of the proceedings at all stages.  We are alert to the differences between common law and civil law proceedings and, where appropriate, we will explain where those differences lie, and what they mean in practical terms.

We also frequently assist overseas lawyers and their clients with obtaining evidence, interim protective measures, or other judicial assistance in aid of foreign proceedings before the English courts, and with enforcing foreign judgments in the UK.

Arbitration

Arbitration has long been and continues to be regarded as the preferred method for resolving international commercial disputes.  It has obvious advantages over litigation, such as the flexibility of the procedure, the ability of the parties to conduct the proceedings in a neutral venue and to appoint their own tribunal, the privacy and confidentiality in principle of the proceedings and of the award, and the wide international enforceability of arbitral awards.  London is maintaining its position as the leading international centre and preferred seat for many large scale international commercial arbitrations.  The English Arbitration Act 1996 creates a permissive and liberal legal framework for the conduct of arbitration proceedings in England and strikes a persuasive balance between judicial non-interference and the availability of court assistance where this is required to ensure the effectiveness and fairness of arbitration as a dispute resolution process.

We are familiar with practically all of the leading international, important regional, and many national arbitral institutions, such as the ICC, LCIA, ICC, AAA and DIS, and are at the forefront of developments in arbitration law and practice.  By way of example, one of our lawyers was appointed UK member of the ICC Task Force on Reducing Time and Costs in Complex Arbitrations, which recently published its report and recommendations (see the free download at: http://www.iccwbo.org/uploadedFiles/TimeCost_E.pdf).  We are equally experienced with organising and conducting ad hoc arbitration proceedings, whether under the UNCITRAL arbitration rules or national arbitration laws.

We advise and represent clients in all aspects of arbitration, from the drafting of arbitration agreements to representation in arbitration proceedings world-wide.  In addition, we frequently provide assistance to parties to foreign arbitration proceedings, ranging from the obtaining of evidence or interim protective measures from the English courts, to the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.

Our lawyers also have experience of sitting as arbitrators and accept appointments through leading UK and international arbitration and mediation institutions as well as independently.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

We believe that voluntary alternative dispute resolution techniques, such as mediation, have a firm place in the dispute resolution landscape and merit consideration in all circumstances.  Mediation has proven to be a fast and effective means of avoiding lengthy and costly proceedings and of achieving results in an astonishing number of even the most complex and intractable cases.  Mediation will frequently form part of the litigation and arbitration process but there is no need for pending formal proceedings for a mediation to take place.

We will advise you when mediation is appropriate and an effective weapon in your armoury – and when it is not.  If we take a dispute to mediation, we will prepare the matter so as to place you in the strongest possible negotiating position, prepare and present your statements and submissions, and will conduct the mediation meeting with you with the aim of bringing it to a successful conclusion.  This will include advice on the terms of the settlement agreement and, where necessary, follow-up action to monitor and ensure that the terms of the settlement agreement are implemented and fulfilled.

We work with the leading ADR institutions but have also organised and conducted independent mediations.  Some of our lawyers are accredited mediators with organisations such as ADR Group and accept appointments to act as mediator nationally and internationally.

Internal Corporate Investigations

Recent corporate scandals have brought compliance matters into sharp focus and have led to a significant tightening of regulatory frameworks.  But companies of all sizes have always been the victim of internal fraud, theft, misuse of confidential information or other company resources, bribery, and inappropriate use of the internet, to name only some of the issues that most frequently arise in practice.  In the current regulatory climate, ignoring such issues is no longer an option.

We advise companies on putting in place the appropriate procedures which allow such matters to be investigated and dealt with speedily and effectively when they arise.  Conducting internal investigations through external legal advisers, such as Klein Solicitors, rather than directly in-house, can have important advantages in ensuring the legality of the investigation, and in terms of preserving legal privilege.  We have the capacity and experience required to lead, co-ordinate and manage such investigations in co-operation with client organisations and other external advisers, such as forensic accountants and IT specialists, both in a UK and in a cross-border context.

At the conclusion of the investigation, we will report to the management of the company, advise on any legal or practical steps that should be taken, and on potential regulatory compliance issues.

We will always be pleased to discuss your legal issues and requirements with you and to provide you with examples of our track record in any of our chosen areas of practice.  Our dispute resolution expertise also covers contentious intellectual property matters.  Please contact Gregor Kleinknecht on +44 (0)207 958 9080 or by e-mail to gk@kleinsolicitors.com for further information.

 

 

 

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